Christmas Bird Count Sees Lesser Scaup, Buffleheads, Ring-billed Gulls on PSD Ponds

The results are back from the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) that took place on Hilton Head Island — which included the Indigo Run area and the Hilton Head PSD ponds. Thirteen birders in four subgroups tallied 75 bird species and 1,308 individual birds.

According to Jack Colcolough, the Indigo Run CBC Group Captain, “Our count was one of the ‘best ever’ for the Indigo Area this year versus last year’s lower count of 59 species and 1083 total birds counted.”

The best birds of the count included: the uncommon Dark-eyed Junco, American Kestrel, early American Goldfinch and ‘overwintering’ Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Other good finds included: Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup, Common Loon and White-breasted Nuthatch. An additional species found during Count Week was the Yellow-throated Warbler.

All of the Lesser Scaup, 29 of the 33 Buffleheads and Ring-billed Gulls were seen on PSD’s ponds.

“The ongoing presence of water fowl at our recycled water lagoons indicates the high quality of our recycled water product,” said PSD General Manager Pete Nardi.

Colcolough said the “big miss this year” was the pair of Bald Eagles at the eagles nest in a pine tree at the 10th hole of the Golden Bear Golf Cours. They have nested there for last 15 years. The birders are hoping they are “just late nesters.” Additionally, the rookery of about 300 birds at Crystal Lake left several weeks ago after being and nesting there for over a year. The birding group also missed finding Red-headed Woodpeckers in Broad Pointe due to new home building there.

The results will be combined with others from Hilton Head Island and forwarded to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to be combined with over 2,500 counts across the Americans.

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